Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection
5th Friday in Lent, April 8, 2022
Jer 20:10-13; Ps 18-2-7; Jn 10:31-42
Recently, a group of men was asked this question; “How do you know God exists?” As they went around the room and answered the question, many recounted times in their lives where God appeared to be present, or at least in hindsight, they recognized God’s presence in their lives. Several recounted scripture verses that talked to them about God being real and present in their lives. No one, in any case, or example, said God did not exist. The overwhelming response was, “How could God NOT exist in our world?”
We hear of Jeremiah’s prophesy that he knows God is with him, that God is ever-present in his life. And much like the men in that room, God did exist for Jeremiah. “The Lord is with me,” he proclaims, “like a mighty champion.” Jeremiah has experienced God’s presence in his life, and he warns those who do not experience or believe that God exists, that they will experience the vengeance God takes on them. We know that God is merciful to those who believe, but for those who do not, well, I am not to judge, but go back and read Jeremiah’s words. It is not pretty.
Jesus was struggling with a similar situation. Not that the Jews did not believe in God, but in that they did not believe Jesus was who He said He was. They thought it was blasphemy that Jesus was saying He was the son of God. Jesus uses a great philosophical argument about who is called a “god,” but note that was with a lower case “g,” not the big “G” for God. Suffice it to say, all it did was rile up his adversaries more. So Jesus left them something to think about and left the area. And, because of this, more came to believe.
So back to the opening question, “How do YOU know God exists?” Take some time the next couple of days and ponder that question. Do not answer it right away, just think about it, and then spend some time in quiet. Look up to heaven and say, “God I know you exist because….” If you need to, have a piece of paper ready and write down what you say. As you continue to prepare for Easter, believe what you said, and hold that thought in your heart. So the next time someone asks you, “How do you know God exists?,” you can say, “Because Jesus and I had a conversation about it, and this is what we talked about……”